Unlike the Simple Gift, Skryzynecki suggests the transitions of the migrants from war-torn Europe is ironically also a standstill on the boat, forcing them to contemplate their past and present circumstances. The trip itself is a source of alleviation from emotional isolation, as shown in the metaphors “Voices left their caves | Silence fell from its shackles,” creating a tentative mood of hope and showing how the migrants are emotionally opening up. This sense of hope is reinforced in the Biblical allusion to resurrection in “Another Lazarus…who was saying a prayer in thanksgiving,” conveying the migrants’ hope and gratitude for a new start.
Negatively, however, the migrants’ ‘limbo-like’ status is highlighted by the metaphor of “patches and shreds | of dialogue,” creating a negative tone which increases the sense of lost identity. Furthermore, the personification of nature in “pine trees whispering against a stone wall”, also a symbol of the migrant’s European heritage, creates a pensive, homesick mood. Despite this, the metaphor of “a blood-rimmed horizon,” generates an atmosphere of uncertainty and foreshadowing gestures of how the migrants move on from their old lives.
Clearly, the destination is essential to the migrants’ dreams of a new beginning, but the journey itself facilitates a hopeful change in their outlook that is equally important.